Homecoming 2019

Children pass out candy during the Homecoming Parade on Friday, Oct. 4, along North Main Street.

Rita Mortenson didn’t get to take much time off between planning Homecoming activities this year.

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing Homecoming festivities from the fall semester to May for the 2020-21 school year, it’s only been a handful of months before this fall’s Homecoming, which will run from Monday, Sept. 27 through Saturday, Oct. 2.

“It’s kind of interesting – you have Homecoming, and then you turn around and plan your Homecoming three months later,” Mortenson, who is a senior class adviser at the high school and an instructional technology integration specialist, said. “It’s super fun – it’s one of the best things I love about being at a high school and getting to make these fun, memorable moments.”

Homecoming activities will look a bit different this year, with some changes due to a new Verona Area High School campus moved from the middle of the city to the west side, and others due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mortenson said. 

The most obvious change to the community will be the new parade route, as it will take parade marchers along West Verona Avenue to Legion Street, and then onto South Nine Mound back to the high school, instead of the old route based on the former 300 Richard St. location. The parade is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, after the pep rally for high school students and staff.

The new route will be longer than the previous one, Mortenson said, with the shortest route being just under 1.5 miles, in comparison to the 0.8-mile route the last one had.

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The Verona Area High School parade route will change this year with the new location of the campus. The parade route will go from West Verona Avenue to Legion Street to the west, and back to the high school campus using South Nine Mound Road.

Other adjustments to Homecoming activities will be mainly felt by high school students, as all of the events are planned for outdoors. That includes a high schoolers-only outdoor movie night on Wednesday, a pep rally moved to the football stadium on Friday and the homecoming dance held between the stadium and the school scheduled from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, Mortenson said. 

Masks are encouraged at the outdoor dance, Mortenson said, but students aren’t required to wear them.

“Doing an outdoor dance is very different – the acoustics, the decorating, the DJ, the weather,” she explained. 

For more information, visit the high school’s landing page on the district website at verona.k12.wi.us.

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